Demand respect ... a bare minimum

The Montreal branch of SITT-IWW has, for a few years now, a campaign of its own and unique, launched on 8 mars 2018 on the International Day of Women's Rights.

Its title is : ‘Claim Your Respect’.

Part on the idea of ​​de-macho-izing the trade union environment and reclaiming the struggles union, some union members decided to mount a campaign who looks like him : end oppressions in the workplace, than it's sexism, harassment, homophobia, racism or even transphobia.

A Claim Your Respect, How's it going ?

It begins with an employee who contacts SITT-IWW to help them with a problematic in his workplace. Then a switch-on is triggered either meet the person (s), discuss and make a game plan. This campaign aims to collectivize a problem because the victims are often isolated and in distress (while, most of the time, many other, on the same work floor, live the same reality).

Each campaign and every reality is different.

A campaign story victorious

I will talk here about my experience of a campaign, as as an external organizer of this campaign. SITT-IWW is not a union of service but a solidarity union : empowerer the workers and workers under our mantra : every worker is a union organizer.

We have been approached by employees, Max * and Camille *, because they and some of their colleagues were living under harassment, bullying, you racism, homophobia and so many other horrors, And this, by their boss. It had to stop !

When of our first meeting, Max and Camille had already succeeded in bringing together the 3/4 of their colleagues around a table.
It was unreal for me to talk about how we unite our colleagues ...
Wow, the work was already done ! What a great meeting but at the same time with a bittersweet taste, everyone was united because everyone had been abused by the same boss, some men present, had not lived the thing but were in solidarity with their colleagues.

Together, we are stronger, exactly !

All these people were talking about the horrors done by their boss and had already decided to send a letter to their Board of Directors (C.A.), And this, in bypassing their problematic boss / manager. The hierarchy is sometimes in itself problematic, their boss being their only link with the C.A.

We had to find the email addresses of the C.A., make a clear list of requests while enumerating the charges, keep logbooks for evidence, plan future meetings but above all, plan what we were going to do following the various possible responses of the C.A..

What was our real lever ? Here it was to achieve the public image of the body.

We started with this so-called letter, signed by the 3/4 from the shop, all in keeping in mind that ultimately, publicly, the problem could come out, our only real lever before collective resignations by example. The idea being to have the big end of the stick and be able to claim a healthy work environment ! Le strict minimum !

A healthy work environment ... of course it is legitimate ! It's a right that is so not easily accessible and the advice of Éducaloi, for example, are ridiculous when you live in a problematic situation. Direct action and solidarity are the key to rapid and efficient gains.

The letter was sent, without forgetting to give a response time so that it does not do not fall into the cracks of the floor. The letter was received and the boss problematic was banned from the board meeting. next. It was a small victory already in itself !

The after ? The C.A. asked to meet people 1-to-1 and sign a confidentiality letter. The 2 requests were refused by the group. Our strength is solidarity and we learned from the gang that this same boss had already fired for the same issues elsewhere ... and under cover of confidentiality, so no one could really know ! It's indecent to put problematic people back in a position of power again and again and this, under the hat of the confidential shutter and therefore in all connivance ... ark ! Rather than change and educate, that's it, shovel the problem in the neighbor's yard putting on blinders ! Neunon !

Finally, meetings were made, in Group, applications have been accepted including : fire the boss and have a voice, an employee representative, on the IT.

Written so, it seems easy ... it wasn't. It was quite a challenge emotional, quite a challenge to keep, During months, supportive people between them and them without dismantling despite the strategies put in place by the patronage. But what a great victory to get rid of an oppressor (who despite education efforts did not change) and to be able to finally have the chance to express workers' point of view to the most high authority of the company !

We succeeded despite the ups and downs, reluctance, errors and learning, through all these little cumulative victories !
Boss viré, healthy workplace !

The culture of silence must end.

Claim Your Respect this is the reappropriation of his environment work and one more step towards fairness and respect, finally, around the normality.

well done to them and them ! Solidarity !


Solidarity twenty miles dollars

Someone hears about the IWW by un.e ami.e, we contact us online and we arrange to meet and discuss ways to take to claim the stolen wages. This is how many of our start campaigns Reclaim your pay, but our most recent will is not bound to the ordinary. Tale of a victorious campaign, the biggest in the history of our industry.

In his first message in late January, a worker tells of a chic restaurant closed, checks that bounced and more hours worked but not paid. They call to ask for more details, and we learn that they are 11 employé.e.s closed restaurant have bounced checks and / or unpaid wages! The information is relayed to the voluntary union for campaigns Reclaim your pay, and at the magnitude of the case, a team of three Wobblies is formed. Quickly, a meeting is organized with the greatest possible travailleurs.euses. At this first meeting, 5 of the 11 are presented, we count all wages to demand to realize that more than 20 000$ are at stake! We also note all relevant information about the boss: in addition to the closed restaurant, He is also co-owner of a chain of coffee shops in Montreal and coffee distribution company. He also has a habit of not paying its employé.e.s; the travailleurs.euses have heard similar stories in their, which spread on 10 last years. The boss will not easily let impress. This time, against, the claim will be organized and supported by a union. We do not lose anything to wait, we immediately establish a schedule of direct action to do in the coming weeks.

All campaigns SITT-IWW to claim stolen wages are based on direct action. The 11 employé.e.s have everyone made a complaint to the CNESST (except one, who worked in the black), but these complaints can easily take a year to reach a payment. For more travailleurs.euses, One year is too much to wait for three to four weeks of payroll. Direct action puts pressure on the employer to convince him that he has more to lose if he does not pay, without going through the legal. It is always the travailleurs.euses who democratically choose what actions, although union members can suggest them some.

The first step is to send letters of request to the boss, to remind him of the amounts payable and to inform the union is now on the case. While the letters are being delivered, the boss contacts a worker of 11 with the intention of paying it after she complained publicly. union members accompanied to this meeting, taking the opportunity to put the application letters to the boss personally. He takes the letters without reacting and not receiving any message from them by mail / e-mail or phone. It's time to start actions.

We start by sending emails denouncing the situation in several bosses in case of partners, without results. then continues with a "phone zap", where for two hours several people continually call to shops boss to block phone lines, and a blitz of negative comments on the pages of its companies (facebook, google, yelp, etc). To raise public pressure, is published on the website of the union an article that directly exposes the boss and unpaid wages. At this stage, three weeks have passed and certain.e.s travailleurs.euses receive boss Messages for, in short, threaten them with lawsuits and tell them that the union does not scare him. The next action, early March, continues escalating pressure tactics, this time physically with cafes whose boss is co-owner to distribute leaflets at the entrance. The managers are panicking a little, but we managed to pull three days to three coffees without too much trouble.

This is the week of towing the union is finally contacted by the boss to arrange a meeting, held the 14 mars. When it, it serves us the usual stories: "This is a misunderstanding, I'm the real victim, we could just talk not need to attack me ", etc. Rest you leave the meeting about 12 000$ checks! 6 of the 11 Former employé.e.s are now completely payé.e.s, there are still a few thousand to claim for 5 other.

The rest of the campaign covers 4 month, during which we discuss and negotiate with the boss to get the rest of salaries. One time, it seems that the boss ignores us, then organized a small action of towing two of its cafes, to get back his attention. The whole story is concluded on 19 June, when the last checks we are supplied by the employer. One worker did not have any money, and it is because it has decided to stop the campaign of direct action and rely solely on complaints it filed with the CNESST. It was noted that the worker who was being paid below the table has received his money, without particular difficulty.

In total, efforts 11 travailleurs.euses and the union have helped claim 20 995$, in unpaid hours 4%. Certainly a direct action campaign involves more work than the single gesture of complaint, but this considerable victory shows us once again qu'armé.e.s solidarity, we can overcome all obstacles, and build a better world for tomorrow.

Solidarity is priceless,




English version here.

The quality at Ericsson?

Cuts in quality control

Throughout my career in the Access Services department at Red Bee Media / Ericsson, I developed a certain eagerness to produce high quality subtitles for all audiences, whatever the program content or the channel broadcasting the. The same can be said of my colleagues. One might think that this kind of pride in offering high quality services to téléspectateur.rice.s malentendant.e.s would be shared and encouraged by the lead. In place, I have observed recurrent cuts in quality control programs, sacrificed in favor of higher profits. The logic behind these practices is that all the work invested in the revision, proofreading and improving our business could be more "productively" used in the production of a greater amount of subtitles. Inevitably, subtitles come out lower quality. The cuts are particularly pronounced in North America offices, to Montreal (QC) et Duluth (GA), who are new to the landscape and have been targeted by the objectives of reducing overall operating costs implemented by management.

As part of their subtitling activities and administrative tasks associated with them, Deputy titreur.euse.s regularly confronté.e.s the last remnants of a quality control infrastructure now moribund. Before addressing the issue of infrastructure itself, it is important to understand that in terms of precision, the live subtitling is a very imperfect process. The sub-titreur.euse.s must take editorial decisions on the fly and a voice recognition software can be a fickle friend. Live Captions can be either created from scratch by the sub-titreur.euse.s (i.e. "Live repetition"), be produced from text prepared and provided by the broadcaster, or (in the case of repeated content) they can be text broadcasts created in advance. Originally, chez Red Bee Media / Ericsson, when the text was to be transmitted in this way, it had to be replayed after the first transmission to ensure that all subsequent transmissions have an almost perfect accuracy. Today, this process no longer takes place. The result is that the same errors are repeated for transmission to the other. Attempts to correct errors on the fly are often prevented by technical problems. Over the years, Similar reductions replay process was put in place regarding the captioning of pre-recorded programs.

Ignore the demands of employees

When preparing to caption a live program, every minute is precious. However, Deputy titreur.euse.s often have a completed copy of typos and spelling. Sometimes, he also left with an odd layout that must be meticulously modified to create compliant subtitles guidelines and the customer's style. In the course of the past year, preparation time allocated to subtitled live programs was almost unilaterally cut in half. Management has repeatedly ignored requests subtitling staff and training to increase the preparation time for some live programs. It argues that going travailleur.euse.s “s’adapter” new requirements, when even the sub-titreur.euse.s expérimenté.e.s struggling to fulfill the bare minimum in terms of preparation work.

Chez Red Bee Media / Ericsson, the main quality control measures in place to ensure the accuracy of live subtitles is the detailed examination of the work of sub-titreur.euse.s. In the British wing of Operations, long established, Deputy titreur.euse.s are examiné.e.s three times a month: once a eux.elles themselves, once a un.e pair.e, and once by support staff. During the last year, the direction of North American operations eliminated exams by pair.e.s and cars-exams, and eliminated the system which provided a wide variety of work was revised. The sub-titreur.euse.s not have so very little information about how to improve their work.

A quality control problem seems particularly egregious. Ringer's cas d'un.e employé.e here about the ranking in coloriser du texte pour les émissions britanniques. Cet.te employé.e was told repeatedly that accessibility accommodations are not provided to because the color of the text is not a high priority for broadcasters. Note that téléspectateur.rice.s, and not broadcasters, are subtitles of utilisateur.rice.s. In many areas, color changes are the only method used to indicate a change of speaker. Le.a téléspectateur.rice has the right to expect that the sub-titreur.euse.s at least try to use colors accurately. In that case, the direction of Red Bee Media / Ericsson doubly fails: it fails meet its téléspectateur.rice.s and meet its employé.e.s. The blasé attitude of the management of access services to its accessibility responsibilities for its own employé.e.s gives a disturbing idea of ​​his attitude to accessibility services in general.

Disinterest possible improvements

these cuts, as well as removing a bulletin informing travailleur.euse.s on the access services sector in general, underline the disinterest of management to provide high quality access services to its customers. The management of Red Bee Media and Access Services Ericsson has clearly indicated that many broadcasters for which we produce subtitles do not care about the quality of subtitles, and have often used this argument to justify decisions to reduce or eliminate quality control measures mentioned above. Contempt Officer of Red Bee Media / Ericsson téléspectateur.rice.s for using the product is clear.

When travailleur.euse.s are informé.e.s as improving their work is a waste of time, there is something wrong – when téléspectateur.rice.s in the deaf and hearing communities lésé.e.s with a priority placed on profits at the expense of individuals, the injury is doubly shameful.


The union of the sub-office printers and Montreal captionists currently seeking to negotiate its first collective agreement with Red Bee Media / Ericsson, a company that has refused to negotiate effective 21 mars 2018. The travailleur.euse.s demand fair wages and global operations based on breaks, and the late model shifts grueling currently in place.



The union of the sub-office printers and captionists Montreal.

In english